The first road game of the season is in the books as FC Dallas dropped a 1-0 loss at the Columbus Crew. Let’s hand out some ratings to wrap this game up.
Note: 6 is the rating given for an average MLS performance
Man of the Match: Paxton Pomykal (7.1): For the second week in a row, there was no doubt who the best player on the field for FCD was. Paxton lead the team in passing accuracy (93.1%), Key Passes (20, and actually lead the team in tackles (five tackles). Here’s a look at all of his touches on the day:
Paxton Pomykal vs Columbus Crewpic.twitter.com/VZOLOxGdor— USMNT Videos (@USMNTvideos) March 17, 2019
The one big drawback, was seeing Pomykal getting the bulk of his touches, deep in FCD territory. Luchi Gonzalez needs to find a way to get him the ball inside the oppositions half, more often.
Jessie Gonzalez (6.3) - Jesse faced three shots, and finished with two saves. Not a bad performance on the road, but there were way too many troubles with the ball at his feet, that need to be improved going forward.
Ryan Hollingshead (7.0) - Ryan had a solid day filling in for Reggie Cannon at right back. He was arguably the second best player on the field for FCD. Hollingshead finished with two shot attempts (one shot on goal), beat one defender on the dribble, but his passing could have been a bit better (77.6% passing accuracy). On defense, he finished with two tackles, three interceptions, one clearance, and three aerials won.
Reto Ziegler (6.6) & Matt Hedges (6.6) Considering that FCD Did not allow any goals from the run of play, Reto and Matt both had fine days.
Marquinhos Pedroso (6.4) - To be fair to Pedroso, the entire left side of the field was a disaster in the attack for FCD. There was little to no chemistry in the attack between Pedroso, Santi, Badji, and even Barrios on the left side for FCD. His rating is more indicative of his fine play on the defensive side.
Carlos Gruezo (6.6) - Gruezo continues to be a rock in the heart of the defense for FCD, but didn’t really offer much when he was asked to join the attack.
Bryan Acosta (5.9) - To say that Acosta was reckless at Columbus, would be a big understatement:
Acosta should have been sent off, and doubled down for a second reckless tackle during the match, that also could have seen him sent off. He had five fouls on the day, which is one more foul than the rest of the team combined (four). His play wasn’t terrible on the day, but like the rest of the attacking players, he simply did little where it mattered most, and that is going forward.
Michael Barrios (6.0), Dominique Badji (6.1), & Santiago Mosquera (6.1) - These are some super nice ratings on my part, where I believe most would have negative scores across the board. I hand out negative scores to players who are hurting the team, and these three were not hurting the team, but they certainly weren’t helping either. Here’s a look at the combined distribution chart for all three players:
Just look at all that red, and it tells you that there was zero chemistry between the attacking players. Not to take anything away from the Columbus defense, which was superb. There were several plays where it was clear that Santi and Badji simply were not reading the developing play the same way. A simple misread by any one of the attacking players, was all Columbus needed to break up any developing attack. It’s too early in the season to panic, and attacks take longer to gel than defenses, but I’d certainly would like to see Luchi shake up the attack a bit next week.
Pablo Aranguiz (6.4) - Pablo was an instant shot of adrenaline for the moribund attack, as he completed all eight of his pass attempts, and whipped in six crosses (one cross completed) in his short time of the pitch. It was the kind of performance that should earn him more minutes in the very near future.
John Nelson (6.3) - The stat line only shows one key pass, and 83.3% passing accuracy for Nelson, but the eye test said WOW! Here is a player that looks like he will become a significant contributor for FCD if given the opportunity.
Jesus Ferreira (6.1) - Jesus played the most minutes of the subs, but he looked timid and a bit confused out there at times. It was still a bit of an improvement on what some of the other attacking players were showing for most of the match.
Luchi Gonzalez (6.3) - FC Dallas actually played the Crew pretty even through out their match. The one lingering concern is Luchi waiting too long to dip into his bench. Here's what the team shape looked like, before the subs came in and finally gave the attack some life:
You can clearly see that other than the back four, everyone else were in each others way. It's rather alarming that there is no width at all. Next week should be quite interesting.